Form I-129: A Guide to the US Petition for Nonimmigrant Workers

Understanding Form I-129

If you are an employer who wants to hire a nonimmigrant worker temporarily in the United States, you may need to file Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker. This form is used to request permission for a foreign national to work in the U.S. on a temporary basis.

Form I-129 is a relatively complex document that requires a significant amount of supporting documentation to be submitted along with it. The form itself is divided into several sections, each of which requires specific information about the employer, the foreign national, and the job being offered.

One of the most important sections of Form I-129 is the one that requires the employer to provide detailed information about the job being offered. This includes the job title, the duties and responsibilities of the position, the qualifications required for the job, and the salary and benefits being offered.

Another important section of Form I-129 is the one that requires the employer to provide information about the foreign national being hired. This includes the foreign national’s name, date of birth, country of citizenship, and passport number, as well as information about the foreign national’s education and work experience.

It is important to note that filing Form I-129 does not guarantee that the foreign national will be granted permission to work in the United States. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will review the petition and may request additional information or documentation before making a decision.

In conclusion, understanding Form I-129 is essential if you are an employer who wants to hire a nonimmigrant worker temporarily in the United States. The form requires detailed information about the employer, the foreign national, and the job being offered, and filing it does not guarantee that permission to work in the U.S. will be granted.

Purpose of Form I-129

If you are a U.S. employer seeking to hire a nonimmigrant worker for temporary employment, you will need to file Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker. This form is used to request permission for a foreign national to temporarily work in the United States.

The purpose of Form I-129 is to provide information about the job offer and the foreign national’s qualifications for the job. The form is also used to ensure that the foreign national meets the requirements for the specific visa category for which they are applying.

The form requires detailed information about the employer, the job offer, and the foreign national. This includes information about the type of work, the duration of the job, the wages and working conditions, and the foreign national’s education and work experience.

Once the form is submitted, it will be reviewed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If the petition is approved, the foreign national will be able to apply for a visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad.

It is important to note that filing Form I-129 does not guarantee that the petition will be approved. USCIS will review the petition and may request additional information or documentation before making a decision. It is also possible that the petition may be denied if the foreign national does not meet the requirements for the specific visa category or if there are other issues with the petition.

Overall, Form I-129 is an important tool for U.S. employers seeking to hire nonimmigrant workers for temporary employment in the United States. By providing detailed information about the job offer and the foreign national’s qualifications, the form helps ensure that only qualified individuals are able to work in the United States temporarily.

Types of Visas

When it comes to Form I-129, there are various types of visas that can be applied for. Here are some of the most common:

H-1B Visa

The H-1B visa is for individuals who work in specialty occupations that require a specific skill set. To apply for this visa, you must have a job offer from a U.S. employer who will sponsor you.

L-1 Visa

The L-1 visa is for employees of multinational companies who are being transferred to a U.S. branch of their company. To apply for this visa, you must have worked for the company for at least one year.

O-1 Visa

The O-1 visa is for individuals with extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, education, business, or athletics. To apply for this visa, you must have a job offer from a U.S. employer who will sponsor you.

R-1 Visa

The R-1 visa is for individuals who work for religious organizations. To apply for this visa, you must have a job offer from a U.S. religious organization.

E Visas

The E visas are for traders and investors from countries that have a treaty of commerce and navigation with the U.S. There are two types of E visas: E-1 for traders and E-2 for investors.

P Visas

The P visas are for athletes, artists, and entertainers. There are three types of P visas: P-1 for athletes and entertainers, P-2 for artists and entertainers in reciprocal exchange programs, and P-3 for culturally unique artists and entertainers.

TN Visa

The TN visa is for Canadian and Mexican professionals who work in certain professions. To apply for this visa, you must have a job offer from a U.S. employer who will sponsor you.

H-2 Visas

The H-2 visas are for temporary employment in the U.S. There are two types of H-2 visas: H-2A for temporary agricultural workers and H-2B for temporary non-agricultural workers.

Other Visas

There are various other visas that can be applied for using Form I-129, including H-1B1 for professionals from Chile and Singapore, H-1C for nurses, E-3 for Australians, Q-1 for international cultural exchange programs, and H-3 for trainees.

It’s important to note that each visa has its own specific requirements and application process. Make sure to research the visa that’s right for you and consult with an immigration attorney if needed.

Form I-129 Filing Process

If you are looking to bring a foreign national to the United States for temporary employment, you will need to file Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker. Here is a brief overview of the Form I-129 filing process:

Filing Fee

The filing fee for Form I-129 varies depending on the type of visa you are applying for. Make sure to check the USCIS website for the most current fees. Note that additional fees may apply for premium processing.

Supporting Documents

When filing Form I-129, you will need to include supporting documents to prove your eligibility and the eligibility of the foreign national. Some of the required supporting documents include:

  • Labor Condition Application (LCA) for H-1B petitions
  • Evidence of the employer-employee relationship
  • Evidence of the foreign national’s qualifications
  • Evidence of the foreign national’s nonimmigrant intent

Premium Processing

If you need your Form I-129 processed more quickly, you can request premium processing for an additional fee. With premium processing, USCIS will process your petition within 15 calendar days.

Labor Condition Application

If you are filing a Form I-129 for an H-1B visa, you will need to submit a Labor Condition Application (LCA) with the Department of Labor. The LCA is used to ensure that the foreign national will be paid the prevailing wage for the position.

Form I-539

If the foreign national has dependents who will be accompanying them to the United States, you will need to file Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, for each dependent. This form is used to request a change of status or extension of stay for the dependent.

Form I-765

If the foreign national’s dependent is seeking employment authorization in the United States, you will need to file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, for them. This form is used to request an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).

Form I-129S

If you are filing a blanket L petition, you will need to file Form I-129S, Nonimmigrant Petition Based on Blanket L Petition. This form is used to provide information about the qualifying organization and the foreign nationals who will be covered by the blanket petition.

Form I-129F

If you are filing a Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), you will need to provide evidence of your relationship with your fiancé(e) and your intent to marry within 90 days of their arrival in the United States.

Remember to double-check all forms and supporting documents before submitting them to USCIS. Any errors or omissions could delay your petition or result in a denial.

Post-Filing Procedures

After filing Form I-129, there are several post-filing procedures that you should be aware of. This section will provide an overview of these procedures.

Processing Times

Processing times for Form I-129 vary depending on the type of visa you are applying for and the USCIS service center where your application is being processed. You can check the current processing times on the USCIS website. Keep in mind that processing times are subject to change and can be affected by factors such as the volume of applications received.

Approval Notice

If your Form I-129 is approved, you will receive an approval notice from USCIS. The approval notice will include important information such as the duration of your visa and any conditions that apply. Make sure to review the approval notice carefully and keep it in a safe place.

Consular Processing

If you are outside of the United States when your Form I-129 is approved, you will need to go through consular processing to obtain your visa. This involves applying for a visa at a U.S. consulate or embassy in your home country. The consular processing procedure can vary depending on the country and consulate involved, so it is important to check with the consulate for specific instructions.

During consular processing, you will need to provide various documents and attend an interview. The documents required can vary depending on the type of visa you are applying for, but typically include your passport, Form I-129 approval notice, and any supporting documentation.

Overall, the post-filing procedures for Form I-129 can be complex and time-consuming. It is important to follow all instructions carefully and be prepared for potential delays or complications. If you have any questions or concerns, you may want to consult with an immigration attorney or contact USCIS directly for assistance.

Visa Extensions and Changes of Status

If you are in the United States on an H-1B visa, you may be able to extend your stay beyond the initial three-year period. To do so, your employer must file a Form I-129 with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) before your current visa expires.

The Form I-129 is also used to request a change of status, which allows you to switch to a different nonimmigrant visa category while remaining in the United States. For example, you may be able to change from an H-1B visa to an O-1 visa if you meet the eligibility requirements for the new visa.

It is important to note that the process for extending your stay or changing your status can be complex and time-consuming. You should work closely with your employer and an experienced immigration attorney to ensure that your application is complete and accurate.

To be eligible for an extension of stay or change of status, you must meet certain requirements. For example, you must be maintaining your H-1B status and your employer must continue to have a valid need for your services. You may also be required to provide additional documentation, such as proof of your qualifications for the new visa category.

If your application for an extension of stay or change of status is approved, you will receive a new Form I-94, which indicates the length of your authorized stay in the United States. It is important to keep track of your expiration date and apply for an extension or change of status well in advance to avoid any gaps in your authorized stay.

In summary, the Form I-129 can be used to request an extension of stay or change of status for H-1B visa holders. The process can be complex and requires careful attention to detail. Working with an experienced immigration attorney can help ensure that your application is complete and accurate.

Role of the Petitioner

As the petitioner, you play a crucial role in the Form I-129 process. You are responsible for submitting the petition on behalf of the beneficiary, who is the foreign national seeking to enter the United States for temporary employment.

In most cases, the petitioner is the employer or U.S. employer of the beneficiary. However, it is also possible for a company or organization to act as the petitioner if they are sponsoring the beneficiary for a specific job or project.

Your role as the petitioner includes providing accurate and complete information about the beneficiary and the job opportunity. This includes details such as the job title, duties, and location, as well as the beneficiary’s qualifications and experience.

It is important to ensure that all information provided is truthful and accurate, as any misrepresentation or omission could result in the denial of the petition or other penalties.

In addition to submitting the Form I-129, you may also be required to obtain labor certification from the Department of Labor and file additional forms with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Overall, as the petitioner, you play a critical role in the Form I-129 process and must ensure that all information provided is accurate and complete.

Role of the Beneficiary

As a foreign national seeking employment in the United States, you are the beneficiary of the Form I-129 petition. Your role in the process is to provide the necessary information and documentation to support your eligibility for the visa category for which you are applying.

You must be able to demonstrate that you possess the qualifications required for the position, such as education, experience, and skills. Additionally, you must be able to show that you will be performing the duties specified on the petition and that you will be paid the salary listed on the form.

It is important to note that your employer is responsible for filing the Form I-129 petition on your behalf. However, as the beneficiary, you are responsible for ensuring that the information provided on the form is accurate and complete. Any false or misleading information could result in the denial of your petition and potentially jeopardize your ability to obtain future visas.

Once the petition is approved, you will be issued a visa allowing you to enter the United States and work for the employer who filed the petition. It is important to remember that your visa is tied to your employer, and you must obtain a new visa if you change employers.

Overall, as the beneficiary of the Form I-129 petition, it is your responsibility to provide accurate and complete information to support your eligibility for the visa category for which you are applying. Failure to do so could result in the denial of your petition and potentially harm your ability to obtain future visas.

Form I-129 and Green Card Process

Form I-129, also known as the Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, is used by employers to request permission for a foreign worker to temporarily work in the United States. While the form is primarily used for nonimmigrant workers, it can also be used for certain categories of immigrants, such as those seeking to adjust their status to permanent residency.

If you are an employer looking to sponsor a foreign worker for permanent residency, you will need to file a separate petition with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This petition will typically be either an immigrant visa petition or a petition for adjustment of status.

The immigrant visa petition, also known as Form I-140, is used to request permission for a foreign worker to immigrate to the United States. This petition is typically filed by the employer and requires evidence that the foreign worker meets the qualifications for the job, as well as evidence that the employer is able to pay the worker the prevailing wage.

Once the immigrant visa petition is approved, the foreign worker can apply for an immigrant visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. If the foreign worker is already in the United States in a nonimmigrant status, they may be able to apply for adjustment of status to permanent residency by filing Form I-485.

It is important to note that the filing of a Form I-129 petition does not guarantee that the foreign worker will be able to obtain permanent residency in the United States. The green card process can be complex and time-consuming, and there are many factors that can impact the outcome of the process.

If you are considering sponsoring a foreign worker for permanent residency, it is important to consult with an experienced immigration attorney who can guide you through the process and help you understand your options and obligations as an employer.

Additional Considerations

When submitting Form I-129, there are a few additional considerations to keep in mind. Below are some important points to consider:

Controlled Technology

If you are seeking to employ a foreign national who will be exposed to controlled technology, you must comply with the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). You must also obtain the necessary licenses before the foreign national can begin work.

Certification Regarding the Release of Controlled Technology or Technical Data to Foreign Persons in the United States

If you will be releasing controlled technology or technical data to a foreign national in the United States, you must complete a certification on Form I-129. This certification confirms that you have reviewed the technology or data and have determined that it is not export-controlled.

Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

If you are filing Form I-129 for a beneficiary who will work in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), you must file the petition with the California Service Center. You must also include a copy of the CNMI-issued employment authorization document.

Immigration Status

Before filing Form I-129, you must ensure that the beneficiary has the appropriate immigration status. For example, if the beneficiary is in the United States on a visitor visa, they cannot work until they obtain the appropriate work authorization.

Immigration Attorney

You may wish to consult with an immigration attorney before submitting Form I-129. An attorney can help you determine the appropriate visa category, ensure that the petition is properly completed, and advise you on any potential issues that may arise during the adjudication process.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the filing fees for Form I-129?

The filing fee for Form I-129 varies depending on the category of the petition. For example, as of 2023, the filing fee for a nonimmigrant worker petition is $460. However, additional fees may apply depending on the specific circumstances of the petition. It is important to check the USCIS website for the most up-to-date fee information.

What is the process for premium processing of Form I-129?

Premium processing is an optional service that allows petitioners to request expedited processing of their Form I-129. The current fee for premium processing is $2,500. USCIS guarantees a 15-calendar-day processing time for petitions filed with premium processing. However, this timeline may be extended in certain circumstances. It is important to note that premium processing does not guarantee approval of the petition.

What is the typical timeframe for approval of Form I-129?

The processing time for Form I-129 varies depending on the category of the petition and the workload of the USCIS processing center. As of 2023, USCIS estimates a processing time of 5 to 9 months for nonimmigrant worker petitions. However, this timeline may be extended in certain circumstances. It is important to check the USCIS website for the most up-to-date processing time information.

What documents are required as evidence of an approved Form I-129?

Once a Form I-129 petition is approved, the petitioner will receive a Notice of Approval. This notice serves as evidence of the approved petition and should be kept for the petitioner’s records. Additionally, the petitioner may be required to provide a copy of the approved petition as part of the visa application process.

What is the filing address for Form I-129?

The filing address for Form I-129 varies depending on the category of the petition and the location of the petitioner. It is important to check the USCIS website for the most up-to-date filing address information.

What is the purpose of Form I-907?

Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, is used to request premium processing of certain USCIS petitions, including Form I-129. The current fee for Form I-907 is $2,500. It is important to note that Form I-907 cannot be filed concurrently with Form I-129 and must be filed separately.

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